Executives from leading wealth management firms met three times over 2020 to discuss the state of the industry. These meetings, held in March, September and November, would prove to offer a fascinating platform to observe the impact of the pandemic as it unfolded and the ways wealth managers responded to the challenges it created. The content below is an extract from the following whitepaper which drew on these insights.
A new frontier
Covid has undoubtedly ameliorated the use of technology in wealth management, catapulting an industry steeped in tradition lightyears into the future in the process. But the channels that bonded advisors with their clients and their wider networks are far from new, and will be a mainstay in our working lives for a long time yet. And while the switch to online has been far from plain sailing, even the most reticent of advisors have realised some benefits to remote working. One wealth management executive told us, “Some of our most stubborn wealth managers have had a new lease of life as they enjoy time out of commuting and with their families.”
But goodwill is not enough to shore up a business’s future: 40% of firms are struggling to adopt a strong culture for change and embrace new ways of working. And appetite to evolve innovations could really make or break a firm: the wealth managers we spoke to recognised that as their clients become more self-assured, there could be a clear shift away from robo as a clear advice alternative – and if they don’t follow suit, there will be a nimble start up standing in the side lines who will.
As one firm observed, “There’s been a distinct lack of mentions of robo-advice in industry discussions recently. This should go hand in hand with talk of digital offerings, but for whatever reason through Covid, it seems that this is no longer the case.”
Driving digital – key takeaways
Digital adoption must be underpinned by consistent communication strategies that drive internal collaboration across business units and geographies alike. Invest heavily in training so your people can work efficiently, effectively and compliantly, regardless of where they are. As consumers interact more frequently online, encourage and enable more intelligent conversations between your advisors and their clients.
“Much is said of digital being the future, but the reality is, without data, you can’t make the digital work. Consolidate and analyse your insight and then make it work for your business.”
As multi-channel engagement becomes the norm, don’t take your eye off the ball. Do all you can to optimise your data, says Ian Woodhouse: “Much is said of digital being the future, but the reality is, without data, you can’t make the digital work. Consolidate and analyse your insight and then make it work for your business.”
Track every interaction at each stage of the client journey, in whatever form. Invest in tools so you can optimise client data as your mutual relationship and their own circumstances evolve, optimising this data to make personalised, meaningful recommendations throughout.
And remember that insight empowers evaluation, so be your own worst critic, reviewing product and marketing campaigns so you hone your approach where needed and maximise your return investment in the process.
This is an extract from the whitepaper titled Wealth Management Technology Beyond 2020. Download the whitepaper now to understand how 2020 reshaped the wealth management industry and the key learnings firms can take moving forward.